Monthly Wrap Up

July 2018 Wrap Up

Well … my reading definitely picked up this month! Of course awesome selections definitely helped 🙂 Here’s what I read:

Our Kind of CrueltyTrick or Treat MurderGeorge Washington in the American RevolutionA Vision of MurderLost LightI'll Be Your Blue SkyWhat Remains of Her

Overall a really good month! Some good books in there!! As usual, clicking on the book cover will take you to my review, with the exception of I’ll Be Your Blue Sky, that’ll post next week. … the best book of the month is a three-way tie between Our Kind of Cruelty, I’ll Be Your Blue Sky, and What Remains of Her.

Here’s a quick round up of what all was posted on the blog in July:

July was a very good month. I celebrated my birthday :D. I also received the Garmin watch I had been coveting for running! It’s really cool! I also received an Instant Pot. I haven’t tried it out yet, but I’m looking forward to it!

We got a couple of date nights. The first we just stayed at home and chilled. It was kind of spur of the moment and to be honest we didn’t really feel like doing much. The second one we had tickets for the Kenny Chesney concert at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Back in 2002 Kenny Chesney was my first concert! I was really looking forward to seeing him again! Overall he still puts on a good show … but Thomas Rhett was really the star of the night! He’s amazing! I would see him again in a heartbeat!! We stayed the night up there and then spent most of Sunday hitting all the malls. I got a new purse and some shirts with my birthday money. We had a really nice time, it was nice to be able to shop and take our time … and not wrangle children 🙂

Garrett did a basketball camp this month. I’m not sure he’ll ever be a basketball star (he’s not likely to be very tall) but he was really bummed when I didn’t sign him up for basketball season back in January, so I figured I could send him to the camp to see if it’s something he’s interested in. He seemed to like it. I’m still in denial that summer is almost over! A week and a half until he goes back … for FIRST GRADE! That seems so old 😥 He’s super ready though … he loves school. Although he may not love school after he finds out how much work 1st grade is in comparison to kindergarten. Although I don’t know, his kindergarten teacher was much more work oriented than most of the other kindergarten teachers were. Which was a good thing for my child, ha!

Well that’s about all I’ve got. By the time you read this we’ll be in Las Vegas for a quick weekend getaway. We love Vegas (we got married out there!) and try to get back there at least once a year. We have tickets to see Shania Twain. It’s going to be a very quick trip since Nathan changed jobs we had to change our flights and shorten the trip. But it’s ok… you don’t sleep in Vegas anyway 🙂 And then it’ll be time to settle back into the school routine. We definitely thrived on that routine; summer has us all a little out of whack.

Anyway .. until next time, happy reading!

 

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Monthly Wrap Up

June 2018 Wrap Up

June was a much better month … a lot more relaxed for sure! And after the craziness that May brought I was definitely glad for a break 🙂 Plus we’re getting super close to my birthday 😀

My reading was decent, I didn’t read as many books as I wanted to, but I read two chunkier than normal books. But the quality of my reading was spot on this month!!

What I finished in June [clicking on the covers will take you to my review; except for Widows… that will post in the coming days]:

The Great AloneJar of HeartsAssassinThe Widows of Malabar Hill

See? A great reading month quality wise! I read The Great Alone for MMD’s June book club selection – I really loved it! Such a wonderful book with some pretty serious stuff – it made for great discussion in the book club’s forums. Jar of Hearts was an impulse NetGalley request that ended up being a home run! Assassin was a good book just a tad bit too long for my tastes. The Widows of Malabar Hill is the July selection on MMD’s book club. I had to use the interloan library request at my local library to receive it from an area library and it ended up coming in a lot faster than I had anticipated (I’d never used that feature before and didn’t know how long processing would take – it’s a lot faster than I anticipated!) so I read it early for book club since I didn’t want to keep it out too terribly long.  It was a good book, a historical mystery set in 1920s Bombay and I definitely enjoyed it more than I anticipated!!

Here’s a round up of what was posted on the blog in June:

I didn’t really post as much as I had wanted to, just enough to keep ahead of myself in reviews and some fillers. I feel like I’m in such a rut, but at the same time I’m glad that I’ve established a somewhat steady schedule. I know I sometimes feel as if it’s the same stuff every single week (and it is … just with different books featured), but it’s hard to keep up with the blog at times. 😦

I don’t think I’ve shared anything here about the fitness journey I’ve embarked on. I’ve began running. I’m doing Couch 2 5K. … slowly! Ha! In reality I can probably walk faster than I run. But for the most part I’m enjoying it. It’s hard though… I’ve never been a runner, ever, so those early weeks were hard. I’m on week 8 of the program and while I can’t say it’s any easier, I haven’t given it up yet. Not even after I fell down on the sidewalk and banged up my knee pretty badly. So that must be saying something. It also doesn’t hurt that I’m really enjoying the changes in my body. I haven’t lost much weight, but I’ve definitely lost inches and my legs are not as jiggly 😀 I’ve signed up to do a 5K in my town in September. I may be ready by then, ha! We’ll see. My longterm goal is to eventually run the Iron Mom Half Marathon in Paducah …. but I’ve been running for 8 weeks and I haven’t ever gone 3 miles in 30-35 minutes … so it may take me years to build up to 13 miles!

We got one date night this month …. Nathan cooked us some steaks at home and then we went to see Solo …. while the movie was overall good it sure did have a slow-as-molasses beginning.

We’ve survived the first month of Garrett’s summer break. He’s done Vacation Bible School and a Lego Camp. In July I think we’ll sign him up for a basketball camp. Other than that I’m not sure what we’ll do. I didn’t really want to put him in full-time care anywhere, so we’ve been figuring it out as we go. Luckily we have family close by so they’ve been helping out a lot. And I have the ability to work from home as well. That definitely makes a big difference.

I think that’s about all I’ve got for now … until next month, happy reading 🙂

Monthly Wrap Up

May 2018 Wrap Up

Well I’m a couple of days late… but I’ve been totally wrapped up in finishing up The Great Alone … suffice it to say I LOVED it! Look for my review of it sometime next week 🙂

Here’s what I finished in May:

Never NeverWhat I Saw and How I LiedWhat Doesn't Kill HerNYPD Red 2A Risk Worth Taking

I only just now realized that I never wrote my review for NYPD Red 2 … oops?! I guess look for that in the next few days too 😉 I had a good month of reading, but none of these books really stand out as “WOW” books to me… What I Saw and How I Lied and What Doesn’t Kill Her were both good books, but nothing that’s really going to stick with me. [I’m still in book hangover mode from The Great Alone – I seriously cannot WAIT to put my feelings together in a review!] My review of A Risk Worth Taking will post tomorrow, so be on the lookout for that!

Anywhoo …. here’s what was on the blog in May:

I didn’t realize that I went completely quiet on the blog the last week in May. But our lives kind of got turned upside down for a little bit 🙂 My longtime readers may remember that when we relocated back home about 3.5 years ago my husband took a job with my family’s concrete company. Well. Turns out it wasn’t a good fit for him. 😦 This past Friday he started his new job with IDOT (Illinois Dept. of Transportation). He’s back doing engineering work and he’s already thrilled. … plus his hours are going to be 7am-3:30pm, you don’t get much better than that! No more Saturday morning work, no more crazy early mornings or late evenings at work. It’s going to be such a nice change for all of us as a family. There are absolutely no hard feelings with my family for him leaving the company, which was my biggest concern. Everyone is just happy that he’s happy again – it’s hard to get up every day and go to a job you really don’t like.

We also had to buy a new car this week. Ugh. He had been extremely lucky and had been provided a company vehicle. Obviously with him leaving the company, we were going to be without a personal vehicle for him. So he went and bought a new Mustang. Totally and ridiculously inappropriate for a 33-year-old man with two children still in car seats, but I wasn’t going to argue with him over it. He’s been drooling over these things for the last 2 years, it was just easier to let him have what he wanted rather than buy him something he potentially hated. It’s a sharp car and it’s super nice … just not very family friendly. Oh well. We usually take my SUV everywhere anyway, but still… I don’t have to drive it every day so whatever.

We only got one date night this month, and it was in conjunction with the day we bought his car … so we didn’t really want to spend too much money, ha! So we just went out to dinner and came home and watched a movie. It was nice since it had been a month since we had any alone time together.

I’m so glad May is over. It was an absolutely insane month. We were crazy busy! I’m ready to enjoy the summer months 🙂 I’m also still in complete and total denial that Garrett has finished kindergarten. I’m not entirely sure where the school year went …

Well I think that’s all I’ve got for now. I’ve got a few reviews to get scheduled, so hopefully I won’t go quiet for another week 🙂

Have a good upcoming week and happy reading!

Monthly Wrap Up

April 2018 Wrap Up

Goodness, another month gone by…. doesn’t seem quite possible, does it?! I really stalled out in April for some reason… not exactly sure why, though, because I read some awesome books. Oh well. So I managed to finish 4 books for 1,179 total pages. Not a great month, and I did have 1 DNF… here’s to hoping May is better! Here’s what I read [my review for Hiding will go live in May]:

Home FireF is for FugitiveThe Woman in Cabin 10Hiding

I think I have two favorites this month …. for completely different reasons! First is Home Fire which I loved just for the sheer feelings/thoughts it gave me. I’m still in a little book hangover from it…. the second one is The Woman in Cabin 10 because it was a heck of a roller coaster ride! Really enjoyed that one.

To recap, here’s what all got posted this month:

Saw two movies this month…. took Garrett to see Sherlock Gnomes – it wasn’t as good as the previews made me think it was going to be. Nathan and I caught Ready Player One … I personally have never read the book and honestly, the book never interested me. I will say that I enjoyed it in movie format, but I’m not sure the book format would really work for me.

On the home front April was a pretty good month. Nathan and I held a garage sale this past weekend. We didn’t make as much as we did last year, but we didn’t have as many big baby items as we did last year either …. plus I can’t tell you how may people needed clothing in sizes that we just didn’t have. Bummer. I was about to throw down on a snooty old lady who actually had the nerve to loudly complain about our prices. I mean, I probably had a few things a little too high, but there was no reason for her to go there the way she did. Just walk out and go to the next house (we participate in the neighborhood wide sale, there were 6 sales on our street alone…) And naturally this happened early in the morning and put me in a bad mood for the rest of the sale. I hate that I let people get under my skin, but I pay good money for my things – sorry if I don’t want to give it away for 10 cents…

I think I’ve completely lost my mind, but I’m going to participate in a Couch to 5K program locally. We have a pretty big running club (River to River) that puts on a lot of events, including a large relay every year, and one of the club members has decided to host a Couch to 5K thing. I will probably die. I’m not a runner, I never have been and I may never be…. but I’d like to at least attempt it. In my kickboxing class, we’ve been running laps in between sets and I can already tell a huge difference in my stamina … but I’m still slow as molasses, ha! I’ve added in some serious cardio with my step class twice a week. I’m making serious gains … I’m just trying to add in something a little different. I’ve seriously plateaued on my weight loss journey and I need something to kick it back into gear. Maybe it will be running, maybe it won’t be … but I’m at least going to give it a shot!

I don’t really know what else to say right now …. be on the lookout for my tour stop review of Hiding coming May 3rd. And I’m sure I’ll have some other stuff coming up. May be a little more quiet than normal, because literally every weekend is already booked up. We’ve got both kids’ birthdays this month, our sister-in-law is graduating with her master’s degree, there’s Mother’s Day, we’re going to head to a Cardinals baseball game one Sunday, Garrett’s baseball games are starting. It’s going to be an absolute insane month!

Until next time … happy reading!

Monthly Wrap Up

March 2018 Wrap-Up

Ok, so March was a pretty good month all around for me. I had some pretty good reading … had a good Spring Break with the family in Florida … it was just a good month and I’m definitely looking forward to April! (Bring on warmer weather, too!) I was able to finish five books and 1,634 pages. I’ve started the second book in the James Thomas Flexner George Washington series. Here’s what I read this month [Art in the Blood‘s review will be posted in April]:

George Washington- The Forge of ExperienceBaby TeethAll Together DeadMallory's OracleArt in the Blood

Baby Teeth would probably be my favorite this month. I enjoyed it, but I think it will be very divisive – you’ll either like it or you won’t. I am definitely on the like it side though!

Once again I did a lot of pre-scheduling this month and was able to provide quite a bit of content. To briefly recap:

March was a fun-filled month for us with our big roadtrip down to Florida. I had posted a few weeks before we left that I wasn’t really looking forward to it … we went with the in-laws. And to be honest, for the most part we had a good time. There was a hiccup or two (to be expected), but the kids had an absolute blast and that’s what really matters. It would have been nicer had the weather been a little warmer, but it beat the snow that we got back at home our first full day down there!

We didn’t watch a single movie in the month of March. Bummer.

We were able to spruce up a few areas of our house this month. We changed out some drapes and bathmats in our master bath and put up some new wall hangings. That made a world of difference in there. We also replaced some drapes in our living room. We’ve been in our house for a little over 3 years and for the most part have done very little to make it our own. We’re finally ready to start making some changes and doing some stuff around to make it feel more like our home. I hope to be able to get a painter in there to get some of our rooms repainted. Nathan would like to put up some crown molding. I guess we’ve resigned ourselves to the fact that this is probably home for the foreseeable future we might as well make it more to our liking … ha! We still have a long way to go, but as Nathan likes to tell me … one room at a time 🙂

I started attending a new class at the gym. I’ve been taking kickboxing twice a week since August and now I’m adding in a step class twice a week. I’m already so sore, but I know that I’m going to get some new results simply because of the change in routine. All total, I’m down 28 pounds since March of 2017 🙂 But I’ve still got a long way to go… I don’t necessarily have a set number goal in mind … but someone please tell me how can someone lose 28lbs and not lose a freaking pants size?! Like it’s mindboggling….

Well I think that’s all I have for this month. Back to reading 🙂

Monthly Wrap Up

February 2018 Wrap Up

February is always somewhat of a funky month for my reading. I don’t know why, but my numbers are always a little less than normal. Interestingly enough, I had good strong numbers this month. I was able to finish 5 books and 1,552 pages this month. [Clicking on the book covers will take you to my review … except for The Longest Silence, that review won’t be posted until 3/8] I also made great progress on my next George Washington book… look for that review to be forthcoming sometime in early March.

Tippy Toe MurderThe Longest SilenceA Share in DeathThe Lucky Ones Two Dollar Bill

Without a doubt, my favorite book this month was The Lucky Ones! It was really good! I did have one DNF book this month, my January pick for the What Should I Read Next event…. it just didn’t work for me. It was way too wordy and I took over a week to read less than 100 pages, so I set it aside.

I was able to keep up with regular posting here again in February. To briefly recap:

We had a good month overall. Extremely slow at work … very cold. Bring on spring/summer!! We were able to get two date nights this month …. both were over to Evansville for concerts (so we got overnights out of the deal too, ha!) First we saw Avenged Sevenfold with Bullet for my Valentine & Breaking Benjamin. Then we saw Luke Bryan with The Cadillac Three & Kip Moore. Want to guess which one was my choice and which was Nathan’s?! Ha! Actually Luke Bryan’s concert surprised me …. we literally bought amazing seats 4 days before the event. That was Nathan’s gift to me for Valentine’s Day. Oh and February also saw me getting strep throat. Ugh. Someone explain to me how on earth I managed to go 31 years without ever having strep throat to now getting it twice in less than two years? And both times I’ve had it, neither of my children gave it to me … so I don’t know why I get it and no one else does …. 😥 Ridiculous!

Like I did last month, I tracked the movies I watched in February. Nothing grown up this month, lol. But I caught all three of these with Garrett on Netflix, plus one in the theater:

  1. Trolls … I am not ashamed to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I found it to be really cute! And I’m still in love with that Justin Timberlake song!
  2. Paddington … This was more of my pick than Garrett’s, ha! But I thought it ended up being good. Quite funny! And I missed the second one in the theater…. rats! Fun fact: My first dog’s name was Paddington 🙂
  3. Kung Fu Panda … I giggled far more than Garrett did through this one. Jack Black’s voice was perfect! A good movie for sure!
  4. Black Panther …. there’s not very many Marvel movies that we miss 🙂 Overall, I enjoyed this one … but at times I have to wonder why this one really deserved its own show? Good, but I’d recommend catching it at home instead of paying for a trip to the theater.

I’ve officially given up the Bullet Journal thing. I want to make it work, but I realized that I literally had not picked the darn thing up since December….. obviously it’s not for me. So instead I’ve taken that journal and made it more of a traditional journal instead. So far I’ve been good about making entries every day. So I’ll just continue to drool over all the pretty bullet journals that people post and let go of all the guilt because it simply does not work for me. I think my problem is that I really don’t feel the need to have daily or weekly to do-lists. And I hate drawing everything out. I’m not artistic so I hate how my stuff always ends up looking. I am including my reading lists in my regular journal, so it’s kind of a hybrid….

I think that’s all I’ve got for now…… until next time!

Monthly Wrap Up

January 2018 Wrap Up

January was a good start to 2018 for my reading!! I was able to finish 6 books and 2,073 pages.

14th Deadly SinFinal GirlsThe Madness of Mary LincolnDie Trying by Lee ChildSeven Deadly WondersHis Excellency

The best book this month, without a doubt, was Final Girls. I’m still thinking about that ending!! I’m also impressed that I got 2 non-fiction books in! (I literally only read ONE non-fiction book last YEAR…) Plus I started on my Presidential Reading Challenge journey with His Excellency: George Washington. My review on that one is forthcoming.

I’ve also started reading my What Should I Read Next book selection. I just didn’t get to it this month, so I’ll get my thoughts on that one up sometime in February after I finish.

I was a lot more active than normal here on the blog. I started carving out some time every Saturday morning to kind of look at the upcoming week and see what I could pre-schedule. This helped a lot. I hope to be able to continue on with that trend.

To briefly highlight my posts from January:

So there you have it … there’s January on the blog in a nutshell. On the home front, we had a nasty cold January. I swear to you I thought I was going to go absolutely bonkers when Garrett was out of school for a week of snow days. We were able to get three “dates” in January … on one of those we stayed home and did absolutely nothing while the kiddos spent the night at the grandparents. The next one was dinner and a movie. The last one was a day trip up to St. Louis to go to the car show up there. All that accomplished was leaving me drooling for a BMW X3…… maybe in another lifetime 😀

Oh and here’s something else I’m trying to keep track of this year … our movies we watch.

  1. The Post …. saw this one in the theater on one of our abovementioned dates. I throughly enjoyed it! I don’t think Nathan was all that impressed …. and neither was the guy next to him that fell asleep…..
  2. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales …. caught this one on Netflix during the abovementioned date night at home. It was good! But I’m a sucker for the Pirates of the Caribbean movies…
  3. Free State of Jones …. Nathan had recorded this one on our DVR awhile ago. We finally got around to it. I enjoyed it. I bought my father-in-law the book and now I kind of want to ask him to let me borrow it 🙂

 

 

Monthly Wrap Up

January 2017 Wrap Up

Hm. So I didn’t manage to blog a single book from my January reading. Oops! So I’ll just lump ’em all together in this handy dandy wrap up 🙂

quantico

This was my first read of the year. I picked it up mainly because it started with a “Q” and fulfilled quite a few of my Goodreads challenges. Overall I liked it. But it ultimately was slightly forgettable. So I probably wouldn’t be recommending this one to everyone I see…

 

 


 

abby

This was a cute and fun read! I liked it well enough to go ahead and order the second and third books in the series from Paperbackswap. I don’t read a ton of paranormal or cozy mysteries, but this one was an enjoyable blend of those two genres.

 

 


starter

This was definitely outside my comfort zone for sure. And I think I may have been more generous than I should have on GR when I rated it at 4 stars. Looking back on it, this was probably more of a 3 star read for me. It was ok, but not something that really did much for me. I didn’t find it as creepy as it could have been…

 

 


eeny

This book!  I will be singing its praises all year! This one was my first 5 star read of 2017! And I’m kicking myself for not starting this book sooner than I did! It sucked me in from the beginning and I couldn’t get to the end soon enough. I just absolutely loved it. LOVED it. Highly, highly, highly recommended!!

 

 


unlucky

I snuck this one in at the last minute. I can always count on James Patterson for a quick and easy read. This one was enjoyable, but I found the three separate storylines to be a little overwhelming. Why does Mr. Patterson always feel there has to be so much going on? But it was nice to join up with the Women’s Murder Club for another installment and I always look forward to more!